1.What type of workout does stair climbing (walking or running) produce when compared to walking or jogging on a treadmill or outside on a relatively flat surface?
Answer: Stair climbing is more efficient then running or walking on a flat surface. First and foremost climbing stairs is a vertical challenge. The individual must push his own bodyweight vertically, which when looking at overall calorie burn and overall muscular endurance is more efficient then running.
Second, stair climbing produces better results when looking at overall body compositional changes (Losing body fat and gaining muscle) the calorie expenditure is greater therefore allowing the body to change at a greater rate.
Thirdly more muscle fibers are recruited leading to a better overall workout. Lastly the workouts are safer due to stair climbing being more of a low impact exercise.
2.Could you provide tips on stair climbing for beginners?
Answer: Always warm-up. Make sure to do some type of full body warm-up which allows the mind to begin to focus on the task at hand. Some great exercises would be jobbing on the spot, butt kicks, high knees, side shuffles, arm-circles and squats. A warm up should be 5-10 minutes long.
When starting a stair climbing workout always start off slow. The best part of climbing stairs is that you do not have to run up stairs or do long workouts to make great gains. 10 minutes for a rank beginner is amazing, and then increase from there.
When starting make sure to always put the whole foot on the step, this will ensure that you will work the major muscles in the legs more efficiently. Also you will protect your Achilles tendon.
The best way to climb stairs is to actually push from your heel, this will help contract more muscles in the glutes (buttock muscle) and hamstrings. For a rank beginner I would recommend one step at a time. However once the beginner has had a few workouts climbing stairs, two steps is recommend.
For the first few workouts, so not overextend the body. The body will adapt quickly. The key is consistency to keep pushing beyond what the person did in the previous workout. For example if the person did 5 flights of stairs, they should try to do a minimal 3-5 flight more per workout or 5-10 more minutes. This will ensure the body will continue adapting. Unlike running, the body will adapt quickly to a stair climbing routine.
3.What are some popular places people might be allowed to stair climb for exercise?
Answer: - If you live in a condo or apartment building you have got it made! The higher the better! If you work in an office building that is in a tall tower then use your lunch hour for your stair climbing workouts.
Other places to climb would be bleachers in a baseball park, any outdoor stair case that has more then 50 stairs. (Think Rocky climbing up the famous Philadelphia stairs!) The city that you live in should have numerous staircases that would be suitable for climbing!
4.What are the best methods to practice to avoid injury during stair climbing for exercise?
Answer: First start slow! If you haven’t exercised in a while it would be counter-productive to push harder then the body can tolerate. Beginners should do no more then 15 minutes at a time. Amazing changes in the body can happen in 3 workouts per week 15-20 minutes each!
Second always stretch after the workout! Stretching allows for more range of motion in the joints. If the muscles are tight they will not contact properly and this will pull the body out of alignment (Much like a car whose tires are miss-aligned) this will in turn produce injuries. Stretch for a minimum of 10-15 minutes after a workout.
Third – Do not force the body to do more in a week then it is capable of. Stair climbing is strenuous exercise and two stair climbing workouts a week for beginners is enough supplemented by a sound strength training program will produce amazing results!
5.Is stair climbing for exercise green?
Answer! Yes! Stair climbing can help save the planet! It is also FREE! No gym membership required! Here in Toronto the World Wildlife Fund puts on a stair climbing event at the CN Tower! Over 5,000 climb the CN Tower and fundraise to help save the planet, fight global warming and help save animals! Do your part today! Climb stairs and provide a better place to live for our future generations!
6.Is there anything else you'd like to add?
Stair climbing is an amazing activity that anyone can participate in! Look for stair climbing to explode in popularity over the next few years! Go to www.stairclimbcanada.com and sign up to receive your five free tips to become a better stair climber as well as find out information on our competitive climb series that starts February 2011!